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Wallace Stevens (1879 – 1955)

Nationality: American Periods: American: 20th Century

winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Collected Poems and the National Book Award for The Necessary Angel: Essays on Reality and the Imagination

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Criticism about Wallace Stevens

‘Beyond the Rhetorician’s Touch’: Stevens’s Painterly Abstractions
“The pattern that emerges from Stevens’s first postwar acquisitions reveals an uncommon, complex relation to these fresh cultural claims for and in American art; he both repudiated them and finally reinforced them, but each disposition discloses a trend in his later poems–a movement back to the real that had somehow to consort with what he was calling ‘the momentum toward abstraction.’ ”
Contains: Commentary, Criticism
Author: Alan Filreis
From: American Literary History Spring 1992, pp. 230-63
Description Without a Sense of Place
“If Welles’s decision to refer straightforwardly to recent events came as no surprise at Harvard, what should we make of Stevens’s decision not to? The final point of Welles’s speech itself suggests that the poet who shared the platform with the politician that morning at the Fogg Museum would also surely have something to say about the present situation, for the politician’s way of speaking about the effect of the war “in every field of life served to enlarge the relevance of his position from politics to politics-as-including-culture. Welles could easily sustain the wartime conception of art, too, as a war effort that must not relent in the postwar period, and in his Harvard speech he pushed that point by rhetorically creating a moment in which he acknowledged the situation of his fellow speaker.”
Contains: Commentary, Criticism
Author: Alan Filreis
From: Wallace Stevens and the Actual World Princeton University Press, 1991
An Introduction to Reading Wallace Stevens as a Poet of the Human Spirit
This essay concludes that “Contrary to all appearances, to the difficulty of his verse, and to the preoccupied, distracted interpretations of contemporary critics, Wallace Stevens’ poetry is a profoundly spiritual force. Anyone interested in the spiritual problems of modern humans must reckon with it.”
Contains: Criticism
Author: Dana Wilde
From: The Antigonish Review Issue 109
Noble Imagery: Wallace Stevens and Mesoamerican Mythology
“A reading of Wallace Stevens in relation to Mesoamerican mythology, which I will try to perform in what follows, goes beyond providing a historical context for his poetry–a series of nativist theories regarding American identity and its origins in precolumbian cultures–because it tells us something about his poetics–the extent to which his poetic practice results, in a manner of speaking, from America’s own imprint on the imagination.”
Contains: Criticism
Author: Anca Rosu
From: Connotations: A Journal for Critical Debate 5.2-3 (1995-96): 240-258
Wallace Stevens
This site consists of a collection of resources about Wallace Stevens including reviews, essays, photographs, and more.
Contains: Commentary, Criticism, Pictures
Author: Alan Filreis
Wallace Stevens (1879-1955)
Site is divided into sections such as: a biography, excerpts from critical commentary on many of his poems, and links to more web sites about him.
Contains: Sketch, Pictures, Commentary, Webliography
Author: Edward Brunner, John Timberman Newcomb, and Cary Nelson
From: Modern American Poetry

Biographical sites about Wallace Stevens

“The More Than Rational Distortion” in the Poetry of Wallace Stevens
“The desire to hold nature to itself, to name it “flatly,” is ever-present in the poetry of Wallace Stevens. In the late poem “The Rock,” for example, Stevens expresses his hopes for a final “cure of the ground /or a cure of ourselves, that is equal to a cure / Of the ground, a cure beyond forgetfulness.” But this desire is never fully satisfied, for mankind’s conceptual pigeonholing of reality is continually overthrown by a prompting to make things over new which comes from within “reality” itself.”
Contains: Commentary, Criticism
Author: David Lavery
From: The Wallace Stevens Journal 8 (1983): 1-7
Wallace Stevens
This site compiled by the Academy of American Poets gives biographical information, a bibliography of Stevens’ work, links to online poems, and other places to find Stevens’ information.
Contains: Sketch, Bibliography
From: Academy of American Poets

Other sites about Wallace Stevens

Feigning with the Strange Unlike: A Wallace Stevens Site
This site collects many resources on Wallace Stevens into one place. The contents include a timeline, essays about Stevens’ work, links to other sites, and other biographical material.
Contains: Commentary, Criticism, Sketch, Timeline, Pictures
Author: Lavery, David

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Last Updated Apr 29, 2013